Making marmalade with mum

I’ve come to the realisation that renovating and decorating an extremely old property and managing an 8 month old baby are detrimental to blogging! So if you’ve been wondering about the prolonged silence here at An eye for food I hold my hands up and admit that I am not the super women I believed myself to be. In my defense I can only say that the cooking has increased 10 fold as I enter the realm of home prepared baby meals but the time available to photograph and blog has been squeezed by the day to day rituals of eat-wind-sleep-paint the bedroom- wake-eat-wind-walkies-sleep and so on and so forth!

It was with this in mind that I gladly handed over my kitchen to my mother and her marmalade production on her recent visit to Italy. ( I say recent but we’re talking early Feb for the maramalade experts amongst you). Usually when my mum comes to visit me she spends most of her holiday getting down and dirty painting shutters or sorting out my garden so it was no doubt with a sigh of relief that this time around she got to play in the kitchen making mammoth amounts of three fruit marmalade to keep me stocked for the rest of the year.

3 fruit marmalade

Now marmalade is somewhat of a tradition in our family with mum making classic orange as well as her three fruit variety whilst on the other side of the family we famously auctioned off my nanna’s marmalade as part of a charity fundraiser when myself and 9 members of the family ran the London marathon. We simply love it. And no matter how many other great jams my mum has made over the years (and here I should mention her apricot jam complete with the nut kernel and her strawberry jam, both of which are delicious) we still come back to the comforting tang of marmalade on toast.

Marmalade on toast

Here in Italy the focus is very much on “made in Italy” which I applaud but it makes it near on impossible to find a Seville orange. Instead we have some deliciously local oranges from Sicily which are smaller and sweeter then their Spanish counterparts but alas less compatible for marmalade making as they have lower levels of pectin to help the marmalade set. And so to plan B; three fruit marmalade made with oranges, grapefruit and lemons.

The beauty of this recipe is that with the addition of the grapefruit and lemon your marmalade is almost guaranteed to set and the importance of the pips is reduced. Seville oranges are traditionally full of pips which are used in the boiling process to help set the marmalade. Our three fruit marmalade mixes the sweetness of the smaller Sicilian oranges and the pectin from the grapefruit and lemon to gain the perfect consistency of spreadable but not so runny that it falls of your toast.

Mum’s 3 fruit marmalade
Preparation: 1hr
Cooking time: ….around 2/3 hrs.
Ingredients:  (In old money) 3 lb of mixed fruit or (in new money) approx 3 grapefruits, 3 sweet oranges and 3 lemons.
1. Wash and dry fruit and cut each fruit into 8, then slice the fruit thinly, setting the pips aside. Measure the fruit and juice and put in a pan with three times the amount of cold water. Put pips into muslin/tea filter or something that can filter, add to the water and leave to stand for 24 hrs.
2. Bring contents to boil and cook over low heat for around 2 hrs. Remove the pips and measure the fruit pulp and juice (about 6 lbs. ) Return to pan with the same amount of sugar. Stir until the sugar has disolved, then boil rapidly until set.
Boiling marmalade
3. Pour into hot jars and seal with wax paper and lids.
Potting up marmalade
3 Responses to “Making marmalade with mum”
  1. Cooking with our mums is the best. You definitely have a lot on your plate! I hope you are able to find some “me” time in there somewhere. 🙂

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